New year, new hopes, new goals. Whether you’ve written out a detailed list of what you plan to accomplish this year, or you’re simply praying for a year of less stress and weirdness than 2020, you’re probably looking with hope to what the new year might bring.
While I certainly can’t predict what this year might be like, I can provide a few inspirational quotes from others to help you focus on the all the hopeful possibilities that a new year brings. Here’s to a creative and productive new year!
We can all agree that it’s been a crazy year, right? And because of that, many of us are not celebrating the year-end holidays in the way that we usually do, or wish we could.
But even so, I believe we should take joy. No matter what’s happened, there’s always something to be thankful for, and something to be joyful about. And so, in that vein, I’m bringing what I hope is a little spot of enjoyment to the holiday with a new Christmas short story!
This is a humorous, frivolous little holiday tale that I wrote several years ago, and finally decided to share with the world. Check it out on Amazon! And merry Christmas to all!
In a town not so long ago or far away, three gentlemen decide to throw a Christmas party. It will be a festival to remember as new friends are made, adventures and troubles are overcome, and much food and frivolity ensues. Join the three merry friends in their hamlet of Ettingswimple for a jolly good time!
This is sort of a follow-up post to last month’s post about not writing. Writers are notorious for NOT writing; but if we want to be writers, then we need to, you know, write.
So here are some ideas or tips/tricks to get yourself writing. I’ve used (or currently am using) several of these techniques myself.
- Write five sentences or five paragraphs based off a story prompt. There are hundreds of places to find story prompts – from pictures to phrases to songs. Here’s my Pinterest board of story prompt pictures, as a place to start.
- Set a time in your calendar. A schedule can help you not only have some writing time, but not waste that writing time by doing everything else but writing. Even if all you have is an hour a week, put it in your calendar or set a reminder on your phone.
- Make your writing space more comfortable/easier to use. Even if you don’t have a dedicated writing desk or space, make your favorite spot more conducive to writing without lots of prep work. Keep your computer and notes close by, keep your favorite pillow in that spot, make sure your favorite coffee mug is clean before your writing time begins—whatever you need to do to reduce prep time.
- Find the method that works best for you and stick with it. If you write all your first drafts longhand with a quill pen, then do it. Learning from other writers is good, but if you have a method that works and you like it, don’t mess up your flow by trying every new technique that comes along.
- Journal or write something unrelated to your current project. For those times that writers’ block hits, you can still write.
Now, go write!
What are some of your tips and tricks to make yourself write? Please share!
If you’re a writer, then you probably know that one of the hardest things to do is actually write. It’s also one of the easiest things to do, which makes the whole writing thing that much more confusing (to both writers and non-writers alike). Anyway, a common theme I’ve seen on writing blogs and Twitter is writers bemoaning their struggles in writing. And I have certainly experienced my share of not writing. Like, a lot. So, why don’t writers write? Well, here are some of the most common struggles that I know about:
1. No Time to Write
There’s never a good time to write, or ever enough time to write. Even during recent quarantine times, when we were all stuck at home with nothing to do but write, many found it hard to write (myself included). Why? Because I was stuck at home, so I could work on ten thousand other little projects, instead of writing. So what can you do when there’s no time to write? Find a minute here, ten minutes there, and write two sentences, two paragraphs. Just write. Continue reading
So I haven’t promoted this much yet (or rather, at all), but I have a new book out! Introducing We Don’t Need Another Marketing Book!
This book has been in the works for a couple of years now. It’s my first co-writing venture, as well as my first non-fiction venture. Working on this book has been a fun learning experience – both from the perspective of writing with someone else, as well as the whole writing about real stuff thing.
This book is about developing, pursuing, and growing your creativity. It’s intended for anyone who is a writer, musician, artist, or other creatively-minded person who wants to treat their art seriously as career or business. No, it’s not about how to make gobs of money (I haven’t exactly reached that point myself); nor is it about all the latest strategies for social media advertising. What it is about is reaching and influencing people, growing yourself as an artist, and changing your mindset when it comes to creativity, work, and making money.
While neither my co-writer Gabby or myself are “experts,” we both have cumulatively decades of experience in the creative side of business and entrepreneurship. We don’t know everything, but we’ve learned a few things about how to think about work and creativity, and we’re excited to share these concepts with other creatives who might be struggling just like we were.
So check out We Don’t Need Another Marketing Book on Amazon!
There are different schools of thought when it comes to describing the physical appearance of characters in a book. Some readers want to know exactly what a character looks like—from hair and eye color, to the size of their hands and the color of their shoes. Other readers prefer little to no description, and give the character an appearance of their own choosing in their imagination as they read. Neither one is right or wrong, or better or worse—and no matter which one you do, you will likely have readers who want more or less description.
Some genres lend themselves to more in-depth physical descriptions of characters. In fantasy and science fiction, where there is a lot of world-building and thus descriptions of scenery, objects, and fantastical creatures, some physical description of main characters is expected. Also most romance genres describe characters’ physical appearances.
But whether you’re writing a fantasy romance or a literary drama, what’s the best way to actually describe the characters? Most editors and experienced writers agree that the info-dump method is not the best way. A full paragraph (or more) of straight “telling” description is not the most engaging way of describing a character: “She had brown hair and blue eyes. She was five-foot-five, unless she wore heels. She wore a brown leather jacket and a red scarf.” Continue reading